A dramatic damaging fire in Koreatown

- Update from Hal Eisner:

The fire in the 100 block of South Ardmore was really destructive damaging or destroying three homes. And, it was terrifying to John Volz who lost his home. He watched as the flames eat away at the house he built five years ago.

A home he says he's tried to restore to its 1909 feeling. Says Volz, “I just sat down at my desk and a huge explosion happened next-door. It blew out all my windows, covered in glass… my son was upstairs and I’m screaming for him to come down. And, within 30-seconds, my house started to burn and I had to sit here and watch my house burn down.”

As he was doing that, firefighters were trying to get the upper hand on the blaze. They attacked it on all sides to keep it from spreading more.

Fire Captain Ted Smyj was one of those who went into the structure to try and fight the flames. The thing is, “As we approached we had several small explosions take and we noticed at the same time that we had a structural compromise.” They got about two feet in, walked into a wall of flame and a ceiling that could have collapsed on them.

The incident commander told reporters, “It took 43 minutes to know the fire down," but, to John Volz it seemed like an eternity as he watched the house built back in 1909 burn. Says Volz, "it just went up so fast."

An investigation continues into the cause of the fire.

Earlier:

 A fire destroyed at least two homes in the Koreatown area on Friday.

More than 90 firefighters were sent to battle the flames, which were reported late this morning in the100 block of South Ardmore Avenue, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported.

Authorities were investigating a report that an explosion was heard at the fire scene.

Firefighters early this afternoon were in a defensive mode, working to prevent flames from spreading to other structures. No injuries were reported.

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